Henry Benjamin Wheatley.

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Laity of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, and

196 How to Form a Library.

rare, authentic, and curious MSS., Pamphlets and
other Works illustrative of the Civil and Ecclesiastical
State of Scotland. It takes its name from John
Spottiswoode, the first duly consecrated Scottish Arch-
bishop after the Reformation (born 1566, died 1639.)
The late Mr. Hill Burton gives an amusing account
of the foundation of this Society in his delightful
Book- Hunter. He writes : " When it was proposed
to establish an institution for reprinting the works of
the fathers of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, it
was naturally deemed that no more worthy or
characteristic name could be attached to it than that
of the venerable prelate, who by his learning and
virtues had so long adorned the Episcopal Chair
of Moray and Ross [Robert Jolly], and who had
shown a special interest in the department of
literature to which the institution was to be devoted.
Hence it came to pass that, through a perfectly natural
process, the Association for the purpose of reprinting
the works of certain old divines was to be ushered
into the world by the style and title of the JOLLY
CLUB. There happened to be amongst those con-
cerned, however, certain persons so corrupted with
the wisdom of this world, as to apprehend that the
miscellaneous public might fail to trace this designa-

Publishing Societies. 197

tion to its true origin, and might inueed totally
mistake the nature and object of the institution,
attributing to it aims neither consistent with the
ascetic life of the departed prelate, nor with the pious
and intellectual object of its founders. The counsels
of these worldly-minded persons prevailed. The
Jolly Club was never instituted, at least as an
association for the reprinting of old books of divinity,
though I am not prepared to say that institutions,
more than one so designed may not exist for other
purposes. The object, however, was not entirely
abandoned. A body of gentlemen united themselves
together under the name of another Scottish prelate,
whose fate had been more distinguished, if not more
fortunate, and the Spottiswoode Society was estab-
lished. Here, it will be observed, there was a
passing to the opposite extreme, and so intense seems
to have been the anxiety to escape from all excuse
for indecorous jokes or taint of joviality, that the
word Club, wisely adopted by other bodies of the
same kind, was abandoned, and this one called itself
a Society." The publications were discontinued
about 1851.

The Calvin Translation Society was established at
Edinburgh in 1843, and its work was completed in

198 How to Form a Library.

1855* by the publication of twenty-two Com-
mentaries, etc., of the great reformer in fifty-two

The Ray Society was founded in 1844 for the
publication of works on Natural History (Zoology
and Botany), and a large number of valuable books,
fully illustrated, have been produced, many of them
translations from foreign works. Many of the later
publications are more elaborately coloured than the
earlier ones.

The Wernerian Club was instituted in 1844 for the
republication of standard works of Scientific Authors
of old date.

The Handel Society was founded at London in 1844,
for the purpose of printing the Works of Handel in
full score. Sixteen volumes were issued, and in 1858
the Society was dissolved, the German Handel Society
resuming the publication.

The Hanserd Knollys Society was instituted in
1845 for the publication of the works of early English
and other Baptist writers, and one of these was an
edition of Bunyan's Pilgrim Progress from the text of
the first edition. The Society was dissolved about

The Caxton Society was instituted in 1845 lor

Publishing Societies. 199

the publication of Chronicles and other writings
hitherto unpublished, illustrative of the history and
miscellaneous literature of the middle ages. This
Society was formed on a somewhat original basis.
The members were to pay no annual subscription, but
they engaged to purchase one copy of all books
published by the Society. The expense of printing
and publishing to be defrayed out of the proceeds of
the sale, and the money remaining over to be paid to
the editors.

The Cavendish Society was instituted in 1846 for
the promotion of Chemical Science by the translation
and publication of valuable works and papers on
Chemistry not likely to be undertaken by ordinary
publishers. During its last years the Society existed
for the publication of Gmelin's voluminous "Hand-
book of Chemistry," and when this work was com-
pleted, with a general Index, the Society ceased to

The Ecclesiastical History Society was instituted in
1846, and one of its early publications was the first
volume of Wood's " Athenae Oxoniensis," edited by
Dr. Bliss, but this only contained the life of Anthony
Wood himself. The Society was dissolved in 1854,
after publishing the Book of Common Prayer ac-

20O How to Form a Library.

cording to a MS. in the Rolls Office, Dublin (3 vols.),
and sundry other works.

The Hakluyt Society, named after Richard Hakluyt
(born 1553, died 1616), was founded at the end of

1846 for the purpose of printing the most rare
and valuable Voyages, Travels and Geographical
Records, from an early period of exploratory enter-
prise to the circumnavigation of Dampier. The
first two volumes ("Sir Richard Hawkins's Voyage
into the South Sea, 1593," and "Select Letters
of Columbus") were issued in 1847, and the
Society still flourishes. Between 1847 and 1885 the
Society has presented to its members an important
series of books of travel, at the rate of about two
volumes a year for an annual subscription of one

The Palaontographical Society was founded in

1847 for the purpose of figuring and describing a
stratigraphical series of British Fossils. The annual
volumes consist of portions of works by the most
eminent palaeontologists, and these works are com-
pleted as soon as circumstances allow, but several of
them are still incomplete.

The Arundel Society is so important an institution
that it cannot be passed over in silence, although, as

Publishing Societies. 201

the publications chiefly consist of engravings, chromo-
lithographs, etc., it scarcely comes within the scope of
this chapter. The Society takes its name from Thomas
Howard Earl of Arundel, in the reigns of James I.
and Charles I., who has been styled the "Father of
verlu in England." It was founded in 1849, and its
purpose is to diffuse more widely, by means of suitable
publications, a knowledge both of the history and
true principles of Painting, Sculpture, and the higher
forms of ornamental design, to call attention to such
masterpieces of the arts as are unduly neglected, and
to secure some transcript or memorial of those which
are perishing from ill-treatment or decay. The publi-
cations of the Society have been very successful, and
many of them cannot now be obtained.

Most of the societies above described have appealed
to a large public, and endeavoured to obtain a large
amount of public support ; but in 1853 was formed an
exclusive society, with somewhat the same objects as
the Roxburghe Club. The Philobiblon Society was
instituted chiefly through the endeavours of Mr. R.
Monckton Milnes (the late Lord Houghton) and the
late Mons. Sylvain Van de Weyer. The number of
members was at first fixed at thirty-five, but was raised
in 1857 to forty, including the patron and honorary

202 How to Form a Library.

secretaries. The publications consist chiefly of a
series of Bibliographical and Historical Miscellanies,
contributed by the members, which fill several
volumes. Besides these there are "The Expedition
to the Isle of Rhe by Lord Herbert of Cherbury,"
edited and presented to the members by the Earl of
Powis ; " Inventaire de tous les meubles du Cardinal
Mazarin," edited and presented by H.R.H. the
Duke d'Aumale ; " Memoires de la Cour d'Espagne
sous la regne de Charles II., 1678-82," edited and
presented by William Stirling (afterwards Sir William
Stirling Maxwell) ; "The Biography and Bibliography
of Shakespeare," compiled and presented by Henry
G. Bohn ; "Analyse des Travaux de la Societe des
Philobiblon de Londres," par Octave Delepierre.

The Ossianic Society was instituted at Dublin in
1853 for the preservation and publication of manu-
scripts in the Irish Language, illustrative of the
Fenian period of Irish history, etc., with literal
translations and notes.

The Warton Club was instituted in 1854 and issued
four volumes, after which it was dissolved.

The Manx Society was instituted at Douglas, Isle
of Man, in 1858, for the publication of National
Documents of the Isle of Man.

Publishing Societies. 203

All the Societies mentioned above are
registered in Henry Bohn's Appendix to
Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual, and
lists of the publications up to 1864 are there
given. Most of them are also described
in Hume's " Learned Societies and Printing
Clubs of the United Kingdom" (1853).
Since, however, the publication of these
two books, a considerable number of im-
portant Printing Societies have been formed,
and of these a list is not readily obtainable,
except by direct application to the respective

The newly printed General Catalogue of
the British Museum in the Reading Room
however contains a full list of the publi-
cations of the various Societies under the
heading of Academies.

The foundation of the Early English. Text Society
in 1864 caused a renewed interest to be taken in the
publications of the Printing Clubs. The origin of the
Society was in this wise. When the Philological
Society undertook the formation of a great English
Dictionary, the want of printed copies of some of the

204 How to Form a Library.

chief monuments of the language was keenly felt.
Mr. F. J. Furnivall, with his usual energy, determined
to supply the want, and induced the Council of the
Philological Society to produce some valuable texts.
It was found, however, that these publications exhausted
much of the funds of the Society, which was required
for the printing of the papers read at the ordinary
meetings, so that it became necessary to discontinue
them. Mr. Furnivall, then, in conjunction with
certain members of the Philological Society, founded
the Early English Text Society. The Society
possessed the inestimable advantage of having among
its founders Mr. Richard Morris (afterwards the Rev.
Dr. Morris), who entered with fervour into the
scheme, and produced a large amount of magnificent
work for the Society. Dr. Furnivall put the objects
of the Society forward very tersely when he said that
none of us should rest " till Englishmen shall be able
to say of their early literature what the Germans can
now say with pride of theirs 'every word of it is
printed, and every word of it is glossed.' "

The Society prospered, and in 1867 an Extra Series
was started, in which were included books that had
already been printed, but were difficult to obtain from
their rarity and price.

Publishing Societies. 205

One hundred and twenty-six volumes have been
issued between 1864 and 1884, eighty-two volumes ot
the Original Series and forty-four of the Extra Series,
and there can be no doubt that the publications of the
Society have had an immense influence in fostering
the study of the English language. The prefaces and
glossaries given with each work contain an amount ot
valuable information not elsewhere to be obtained.

These books throw light upon the growth of the
language, and place within the reach of a large num-
ber of readers works of great interest in the literature
of the country. The greatest work undertaken by the
Society is the remarkable edition of " William's
Vision of Piers the Plowman," which Prof. Skeat has
produced with an expenditure of great labour during
nearly twenty years. The last part, containing
elaborate notes and glossary, was issued in 1884.

The subjects treated of are very various. There is
a fair sprinkling of Romances, which will always be
amongst the most interesting of a Society's publi-
cations. Manners and Customs are largely illustrated
in a fair proportion of the Texts, as also are
questions of Social and Political History. Perhaps
the least interesting to the general reader are the
Theological Texts, which are numerous, but the writers

206 How to Form a Library.

of these were thoroughly imbued with the spirit of their
times, and although they are apt to be prosy, they are
pretty sure to introduce some quaint bits which com-
pensate for a considerable amount of dulness. These
books help us to form a correct idea of the beliefs
of our forefathers, and to disabuse our minds of many
mistaken views which we have learnt from more
popular but less accurate sources.

The Ballad Society grew out of the publication, by
special subscription, of Bishop Percy's Folio Manu-
script, edited by F. J. Furnivall and J. W. Hales.
This was issued in connection with the Early English
Text Society (but not as one of its Texts), through
the energy of Mr. Furnivall, who had many difficulties
to overcome before he was able to get permission to
print the manuscript, which had been very faithfully
guarded from the eyes of critics. He had to pay for
the privilege, and in the end the old volume was sold
to the nation, and it now reposes among the treasures
of the British Museum. When this useful work was
completed, Mr. Furnivall was anxious to follow it by
a reprint of all the known collections of Ballads, such
as the Roxburghe, Bagford, Rawlinson, Douce, etc.,
and for this purpose he started the Ballad Society in
1868. He himself edited some particularly interesting

Publishing Societies. 207

" Ballads from Manuscripts," and an elaborate account
of Captain Cox's Ballads and Books in a new edition
of Robert Laneham's Letter on the Entertainment at
Kenil worth in 1575. The veteran Ballad illustrator,
Mr. William Chappell, undertook to edit the " Rox-
burghe Ballads," and produced nine parts, when the
Rev. J. W. Ebsworth took the work off his hands.
Mr. Ebsworth had previously reproduced the "Bagford
Ballads," and he is now the editor-in-chief of the
Society. The following is a short list of the publica-
tions of the Society : Nos. I, 2, 3, 10, " Ballads from
Manuscripts" ; Nos. 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 18, 19.
"The Roxburghe Ballads," edited by Wm. Chappell;
No. 7, " Captain Cox, his Ballads and Books " ; No.
II, "Love Poems and Humourous Ones"; Nos.
14, 15, 16, 17, "The Bagford Ballads." No. 20,
"The Amanda Group of Bagford Ballads;" Nos.
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, "The Roxburghe Ballads,"
edited by the Rev. J. W. Ebsworth. No. 26 com*
pletes the fifth volume of the " Roxburghe Ballads."
There are two more volumes to come, and then Mr.
Ebsworlh will undertake "The Civil War and
Protectorate Ballads." Much of the work on these
volumes is done, and they only await an increase in
the subscription list. It is to be hoped that when the

208 How to Form a Library.

good work done by the Ballad Society is better known,
the editor will not be kept back in his useful course
by the want of funds for printing. Mr. Ebsworth's
thorough work is too well known to need praise
here, but it may be noted that his volumes contain
a remarkable amount of illustration of the manners
of the time not to be obtained elsewhere. The
value of this is the more apparent by the system of
arrangement in marked periods which the editor
has adopted.

The Chaucer Society was founded in 1868 by Mr.
Furnivall, "to do honour to Chaucer, and to let the
lovers and students of him see how far the best un-
printed Manuscripts of his Works differed from the
printed texts." For the Canterbury Tales, Mr.
Furnivall has printed the six best unprinted MSS. in
two forms (i) in large oblong parts, giving the
parallel texts; (2) in octavo, each text separately.
The six manuscripts chosen are The Ellesmere ;
The Lansdowne (Brit. Mus.) ; The Hengwrt ; The
Corpus, Oxford; The Cambridge (University Library);
The Petworth. Dr. Furnivall has now added
Harleian 7334 to complete the series. The Society's
publications are issued in two series, of which the
first contains the different Texts of Chaucer's Works,

Publishing Societies. 209

and the second such originals of and essays on these
as can be procured, with other illustrative treatises
and Supplementary Tales.

The Spenser Society was founded at Manchester in
1867 for the publication of well-printed editions of
old English authors in limited numbers. The chief
publication issued to subscribers was a reprint, in
three volumes folio, of the works of John Taylor,
the Water-poet, from the original folio. The other
publications are in small quarto, and among them are
the works of John Taylor not included in the folio,
the works of Wither, etc.

The Roxburgh* Library was a subscription series,
commenced by Mr. W. Carew Hazlitt in 1868, with
the same objects as a publishing society. It was
discontinued in 1870. The following is a list of the
publications : " Romance of Paris and Vienne " ;
William Browne's Complete Works," 2 vols. ; "In-
edited Tracts of the 1 6th and 1 7th Centuries (1579-
1618)"; "The English Drama and Stage under the
Tudor and Stuart Princes, 1543-1664"; "George
Gascoigne's Complete Poems," 2 vols.; "Thomas
Carew's Poems."

The Harleian Society was founded in 1869. Their
chief publication has been the late Colonel Chester's

2IO How to Form a Library.

magnificently edited Registers of Westminster Abbey.
Other Registers published are those of St. Peter's K
Cornhill ; St. Dionis Backchurch ; St. Mary Alder-
mary ; St. Thomas the Apostle ; St. Michael, Corn-
hill ; St. Antholin, Budge Lane ; and St. John the
Baptist, on Wallbrook. Of the other publications
there are Visitations of Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Corn-
wall, Cumberland, Devon, Essex, Leicestershire,
London 1568, 1633, Nottingham, Oxford, Rutland,
Somersetshire, Warwickshire, and Yorkshire, and
Le Neve's Catalogue of Knights.

The Hunterian Club was founded at Glasgow in
1871, and named after the Hunterian Library in the
University. Among the publications of the Club are
a Series of Tracts by Thomas Lodge and Samuel
Rowlands ; the Poetical Works of Alexander Craig ;
Poetical Works of Patrick Hannay ; Sir T. Over-
burie's Vision by Richard Niccols, 1616. The printing
of the famous Bannatyne Manuscript, compiled by
George Bannatyne, 1568, was commenced by the
Society in 1873, and the seventh part, which com-
pleted this invaluable collection of Scottish Poetry,
was issued in 1881.

The Folk Lore Society was founded by the late Mr.
W. J. Thorns (inventor of the term Folk Lore) in

Publishing Societies. 211

1878, and during the seven years of its existence
it has done much valuable work, chiefly through the
energetic direction of Mr. G. L. Gomme, the Hon. Sec.
(now Director). The object of the Society is stated
to be "the preservation and publication of Popular
Traditions, Legendary Ballads, Local Proverbial
Sayings, Superstitions and Old Customs (British
and Foreign), and all subjects relating to them."
The principal publication of the Society, the Folk
Lore Record, now the Folk Lore Journal, was at first
issued in volumes, and afterwards in monthly numbers.
It is now a quarterly. The other publications are :
Henderson's Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of
England and the Borders, a new edition ; Aubrey's
Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme ; Gregor's
Notes on the Folk-Lore of the North-east of Scotland ;
Comparetti's Book of Sindibad and Pedroso's Portu-
guese Folk Tales; Black's Folk Medicine; Call-
away 's Religious System of the Amazulu.

The year 1873 saw the formation of several pub-
lishing Societies.

The A r eiv Shakspere Society was founded by Dr. F.
J. Furnivall, for the reading of papers, which have
been published in a Series of Transactions, and also for
the publication of collations of the Quarto Plays, and

212 How to Form a Library.

works illustrating the great Dramatist's times. Among
the latter works are Harrison's Description of England,
Stubbes's Anatomic of Abuses, Dr. Ingleby's Shake-
speare's Centurie of Prayse, etc.

The English Dialect Society was founded at Cam-
bridge by the Rev. Professor Skeat. Its objects are
stated to be (i) to bring together all those who have
made a study of any of the Provincial Dialects of
England, or who are interested in the subject of
Provincial English ; (2) to combine the labours
of collectors of Provincial English words by providing
a common centre to which they may be sent, so as to
gather material for a general record of all such words ;
(3) to publish (subject to proper revision) such collec-
tions of Provincial English words that exist at present
only in manuscript ; as well as to reprint such
Glossaries of provincial words as are not generally
accessible, or are inserted in books of which the
main part relates to other subjects ; and (4) to supply
references to sources of information which may be of
material assistance to word-collectors, students, and
all who have a general or particular interest in the
subject. The publications are arranged under the
following Series : A, Bibliographical ; B, Reprinted
Glossaries ; C, Original Glossaries ; D, Miscellaneous.

Publishing Societies. 213

In 1875 the Society was transferred to Manchester,
and Mr. J. H. Nodal became Honorary Secretary.

The Paragraphical Society was formed for the
purpose of reproducing Specimens of Manuscripts,
and it has produced a Series of Facsimiles of Ancient
Manuscripts, edited by E. A. Bond and E. M.
Thompson, Part I being issued in 1873.

At the end of the year 1877 The Index Society was
founded for the purpose of producing (i) Indexes of
Standard Works ; (2) Subject Indexes of Science,
Literature and Art; and (3) a General Reference
Index. The publications were commenced in 1878,
and the First Annual Meeting was held in March,
1879, the Earl of Carnarvon being the first President.
The first publication was "What is an Index? "by
H. B. Wheatley. Among the important books
issued by the Society may be mentioned Solly's
" Index of Hereditary Titles of Honour " ; Daydon
Jackson's "Guide to the Literature of Botany" and
" Literature of Vegetable Technology," and Rye's
" Index of Norfolk Topography."

The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies
was founded in 1879 for the following objects : (i) To
advance the study of the Greek language, literature,
and art, and to illustrate the history of the Greek race

214 How to Form a Library.

in the ancient, Byzantine, and Neo-Hellenic periods,
by the publication of memoirs and inedited documents
or monuments in a Journal to be issued periodically.
(2) To collect drawings, facsimiles, transcripts, plans,
and photographs of Greek inscriptions, MSS., works
of art, ancient sites and remains, and with this view
to invite travellers to communicate to the Society
notes or sketches of archaeological and topographical
interest. (3) To organise means by which members
of the Society may have increased facilities for visiting
ancient sites and pursuing archaeological researches in
countries which, at any time, have been the sites of
Hellenic civilization. Five volumes of the Journal
havg been issued.

The Topographical Society of London was formed
in 1880. The Inaugural Meeting was held at the
Mansion House, and the first Annual Meeting at
Drapers' Hall on Feb. 3, 1882, with the Lord
Mayor (Sir John Whitaker Ellis), President, in the
chair. The following reproductions have been issued
to subscribers : Van der Wyngaerde's View of
London, ab. 1550, 7 sheets; Braun & Hogenberg's
Plan, of London, I sheet ; Visscher's View of
London, 4 sheets.

The Browning Society was founded by Dr. Furnivall

Publishin Societies.

in 1 88 1, and besides papers read at the meetings, the
Society has issued Dr. Furnivall's " Eibliogiaphy of

The Wydif Society was founded also by Dr. Furnivall
in 1882, for the publication of the complete works of
the great Reformer.

The Pipe Roll Society was established in 1883, and
in 1885 the first three volumes of its publications have
been issued to the members. These are Vol. I,
Pipe Rolls, 5 Hen. II. ; Vol. 2, 6 Hen. II. ; Vol. 3,

The Oxford Historical Society was formed in 1884,
and four handsome volumes have been issued for that
year and 1885. These are I, "Register of , the
University of Oxford" (vol. I, 1449-63, 1505-71),
edited by the Rev. C. W. Boase ; 2, "Remarks and

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Online LibraryHenry Benjamin WheatleyHow to form a library; → online text (page 10 of 12)